WINDOWS  10  AUTOPLAY  SETTINGS

Default Programs is a control panel that is split into four programs. Set Your Default Programs, Associate A File Type Or Protocol With A Program, Change AutoPlay Settings and Set Program Access And Computer Defaults. In this section I will explain CHANGE AUTOPLAY SETTINGS which allows you to set the default action for a certain type of media or media device.


To use the Default Programs control panel go to the Control Panel and click on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS link. This will bring up the Default Programs window (Fig 1.1). You can also bring up the Default Programs window by clicking on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS Start Menu icon - Click on the START Menu button and then on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS icon (not shown/exampled here).

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.0 - Click on the DEFAULT PROGRAMS link to continue

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.1 - The Default Programs window - Click on the CHANGE AUTOPLAY SETTINGS link

When the Default Programs window appears click on the CHANGE AUTOPLAY SETTINGS link to bring up the AutoPlay window (Fig 1.3). Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel and double click on the AutoPlay icon which will also bring up the AutoPlay window.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.2 - Alternatively. Double click on the AUTOPLAY control panel icon to bring up the AutoPlay window

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.3 - The AutoPlay window

With the AutoPlay window open you can choose which default program plays DVDs, which default program plays CDs and so on. Or you can choose another action to take for that media. For example: If you wanted to view the content of every CD inserted into the CD Drive you would choose to take the action OPEN FOLDER TO VIEW FILES (FILE EXPLORER) by clicking on the AUDIO CD drop-down menu and then selecting the OPEN FOLDER TO VIEW FILES (FILE EXPLORER) menu-item (Fig 1.4 below). To save that action (setting) and make it the default action you simply click on the SAVE button at the bottom of the AutoPlay window. From then on, each time you insert a CD into the CD Drive its main (drive) folder is opened automatically in order for you to view its contents.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.4 - Select the default action you want to take when a CD is inserted into the CD Drive

The action TAKE NO ACTION does nothing. If you insert a CD into the CD Drive its main (drive) folder will not automatically be opened. The CD Drive will spin the CD around (read the CD) but then stop the spinning (stop reading the CD) after a few seconds.


The action ASK ME EVERY TIME brings up an AutoPlay notification window asking what you would like to do with the inserted media (i.e. CD, DVD or Memory Drive). For example: Inserting a dvd with mixed content on it (i.e. photos and video clips) gives you the following options (Fig 1.6 below) - CONFIGURE STORAGE SETTINGS - OPEN FOLDERS TO VIEW FILES and TAKE NO ACTION. Clicking on an action (option) sets it as the default (standard) action for any further inserted media of the same type (i.e. CDs, DVDs or Memory Drives inserted in the future).

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.5 - Click on the notification window to view available actions (options) for the inserted media

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.6 - Click on an action (option) to set it as the default action for the inserted media

The same applies when you insert executable media such as a Microsoft Office DVD, but in these cases the action you choose is only for that particular inserted media and it is only applied once. For example: Below I have inserted a dvd with the Linux Ubuntu OS software on it whereby if I click on the RUN action (option) it will run (launch/execute) the software's installation wizard (Setup.exe file) NOW, but I will be asked again for an action later if I eject and then reinsert the dvd.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.7 - Clicking on the RUN action (option) will only run the Setup.exe (installation) file NOW

With Windows 10 some of the default actions have been removed. For example: With Windows XP and Windows Vista you also had an option to RIP (copy music from a cd onto the computer) using Windows Media Player, but with Windows 10 (and Windows 7) you have to RIP by going into Windows Media Player first, which is exactly what the missing RIP option did! Furthermore, you now have to tell AutoPlay what to do specifically with mixed content CDs and DVDs for example.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.8 - Choose what happens when mixed content removable media is inserted

In the above example I am telling AutoPlay that if a removable cd, dvd or memory drive is inserted with pure photos on it only, AutoPlay should view those photos by opening the application called Photo Gallery. And if the inserted media contains video files only, AutoPlay should run (launch/execute) the application called Windows Media Player in order to playlist/play those video files. The same applies to a music cd. Windows Media Player will also run for it to playlist/play the music files on the cd. In the case of mixed contents Windows 10 has done something great! It has allowed a short delay to occur before the default action is applied so that you have a few seconds to change your mind with a particular inserted media.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.9 - AutoPlay gives a small delay to allow you to change your mind about your default action

NOTE - You will receive an error message if you click on an action whereby the media is not supported. For example: If you click on the IMPORT PHOTOS AND VIDEOS action and one of the photo files on your CD is not supported, perhaps because it is the wrong file type, you will receive an error message from the program trying to view the unknown photo file.

If you want to reset all of the AutoPlay actions back to a Choose A Dfault state you can do so by clicking on the RESET ALL DEFAULTS button at the bottom of the AutoPlay control panel window.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.10 - Click on RESET ALL DEFAULTS to reset all of the AutoPlay actions back to a Choose A Default state

To switch off AutoPlay untick (clear) the option USE AUTOPLAY FOR ALL MEDIA AND DEVICES, located towards the top-left corner of the AutoPlay control panel window.

Windows 10 Control Panel

Fig 1.11 - Untick (clear) the option USE AUTOPLAY FOR ALL MEDIA AND DEVICES to switch AutoPlay off

Although the above examples concentrated mainly on CD/DVD actions they apply equally to all AutoPlay actions. In other words, follow the above explanations and apply them to the other media and media devices.